Click above to watch the video after the jump

Just when we thought we were going to wait until the end of March to get our hands on Gran Turismo 5, our friends at Joystiq tell us that Polyphony Digital will release a demo version of hotly anticipated racing game on December 17. The demo will be available on the Playstation Network for download both in Europe and North America, giving long-patient fans a taste of what the full game will be like when it finally arrives in stores.

And as cool as it is that the demo arrives within two weeks time, even cooler is the fact that gamers will be given the opportunity to compete for some nifty prizes. All you have to do is post your best time trial by January 24, 2010. The best time from the U.S. and Canada wins a trip to the Indianapolis 500. A sweet prize, no doubt, but it doesn't come close to the top Euro prize. The best driver from select European countries gets to enter the GT Academy. After completing training the lucky skilled gamer will race in the European GT4 Cup in a non-virtual race-spec Nissan 370Z. How amazing is that?

It would be even better if GT5 actually shipped on December 17, but it looks like we won't be racing one of the world's best driving simulators until March at the earliest. Hit the jump to view a slick video that contains more information about the GT Academy.


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[Source: Joystiq]